Totara LMS – Making Powerful Bespoke Reports and Dashboards Simple

To make the right decisions quickly, you need timely and targeted information at your fingertips. We hear many organisations find it difficult to report efficiently and accurately across their organisation and to provide managers timely reports to enable them to better manage their staff and keep track of compliance requirements.

We appreciate that organisations all have their own reporting requirements so one report suite does not fit all. Flexibility is key. Totara LMS has a powerful Report Builder that gives administrators the ability to easily build their own custom reports from predefined report sources and not rely on standard pre-built reports.

A new LMS implementation is also the chance to review reporting requirements from a fresh perspective. There may be some change management to work through particularly as managers, supervisors or divisional directors gain self service access for the first time or adjust to a new, improved report format.

Totara LMS’s flexible Report Builder allows you to:

  • Build customised reports – including graphical reports for immediate engagement.
  • Personalise reports with customised search filters and column selections.
  • Assign reports (pre-built or custom) to any system role, audience or individual users.
  • Filter reports by organisation hierarchy, position or user group information.
  • Schedule reports and deliver them by email at specified times (e.g. Every Monday at 8am).
  • Export reports in a variety of common formats.

All reports produced in Totara LMS are based on real-time data  and accurate which gives confidence to managers to use the data for key decision making.

You do not need to have any SQL knowledge and  you will not have to extract or upload data to/from other systems as Totara LMS can be fully integrated with your HR system. The data within your HR system can be used for analysis and targeting or you can build on these structures to define additional target groups.

Key Benefits of Totara Report Builder

Below is a small insight into some of the reporting capabilities within Totara LMS that are valued by our clients:

For our Healthcare clients, we have created a standard RAG-rated dashboard report to track mandatory compliance training and our Healthcare User Group inputs into additional enhancements to reports and system enhancements. We are actively working to make this a ‘cross-Partner’ network, so that Healthcare organisations using Totara LMS can share experiences and form an even stronger voice in the Totara LMS developer community.


Learners can complete activities, courses, programs, certifications, and receive marks towards proficiency in competencies and objectives. Reports can be built to display completion and competency information of single courses or multiple courses to inform managers of the work learners are yet to complete and can also be used to find learners who are competent in certain areas. This information can be used to source talent within your company for internal promotion and for filling temporary knowledge gaps.


Learners can register for face-to-face / instructor-led training and then managers or trainers can use custom built reports to review learner bookings across multiple sessions. After training sessions have taken place, trainers can mark attendance and then report on this along with cancellations, DNA  etc. Managers can also be notified about attendance by email automatically. Other powerful features in Totara LMS are the ‘register interest’ and ‘waiting list’ functionality. Users can report on both of these options and plan the provision of their training accordingly.

Totara LMS allows you to import your organisations hierarchy and structures from your HR system or to establish them directly in the system. Combinations of job roles, departments and regions can be used to automatically assign learning courses and competencies, including recurring topic requirements. These structures can then be used within reports. As well as reporting against standard hierarchies, you can include ‘custom fields’ in your hierarchy (e.g. identify teams by location, specific training need, size etc) and then slice reporting data by these custom fields.

Key appraisal data can easily be made available to managers via dashboards and reports.

Dashboard Reporting

Dashboards give users easy to read, real-time information on their LMS home page.

In real-world terms, “dashboard” is another name for “progress report” or “report.” Within Totara LMS dashboards can be customised and assigned to specific audiences and users, so an organisation may set up a number of key dashboard views. They have the following features:

  • Dashboards provide up-to-date, real-time information about an individual’s activity or team activities.
  • Tasks can be seen displayed for the individual user, or tasks that team members must complete.
  • Key reporting statistics provide high level team information and trends to inform decision making.
  • Learning event requests can be seen for one-click approval by managers.
  • One-click access to team members’ learning plans, user profiles, course bookings and progress records.
  • Create, update, delete and approve learning plans.
  • Information on courses and competencies started and achieved.
  • Allocate new courses, competencies and objectives to learning plans.
  • Display badges awarded.

In addition to the above there are additional blocks of information that be displayed depending on user requirements e.g. Site wide or course specific news feeds, quick links, alerts, upcoming events, Google apps etc. This functionality is powerful and gives the LMS basic intranet functionality which can be used to engage learners.


How does the report builder work?

Creating Custom Reports

Totara LMS contains user roles that are granted permissions to create and or view custom reports. Building a report allows site administrators to select:

  • The columns of data that will be available.
  • The filters a user can use to search with.
  • Content controls that restrict the records that are available when a report is viewed.
  • The user role(s) that will be given permission to access the report.
  • Performance settings such as restricting reports to run with search criteria entered and caching versions of the report.

Running Custom Reports

Users granted access to reports will be able to select a report, add search criteria to filter for certain records, and export data into a variety of file formats. Reports that need to be run regularly can be scheduled to so that they are automatically run and sent by email as file attachments to users.

Based on the content controls that have been setup, the report may be pre-filtered to only display records for staff at or below a user’s position, within or under a user’s organisation, or other details depending on the report source that was chosen.

Developing Custom Report Sources

A report source defines the primary type of data that will be used in a report, including data like user profile information, course completion, competencies, face-to-face session details, and attendance. If your organisation requires additional report sources or complex reporting, then our in-house Totara LMS developers can create these reports for you and assign them to specific users/audiences.

As part of our Totara LMS implementation process, we work with you to set up, run and manage the report builder and customise dashboards. If you would like more information on Totara LMS’s powerful reporting capability, please contact us.